South Downtown Design + Activation (Soda)
The project seeks to develop a comprehensive vision for the design, implementation and stewardship of the public spaces within San Francisco's South Downtown (composed of the Transbay and Rincon Hill Planning areas), and in doing so, create implementable designs that foster vibrant streets and open spaces, support high performing transit operations, and encourage active transportation choices for the people who live, work and visit the district.
The South Downtown Design and Activation Plan will provide a framework for designing, implementing and managing the public realm in the emergent neighborhood surrounding the Transbay Terminal and Rincon Hill. The plan area covers a quadrant of roughly 30 blocks of the city bounded by Market Street, The Embarcadero, Bryant Street and 2nd Street.
Fifteen years ago, much of the district was characterized by surface parking lots and light industrial land uses. Today, the district is experiencing a wave of development by both public sector actors. This development reflects the legacy of roughly fifteen years of city planning efforts for the district.
The construction of the Transbay Transit Center will greatly improve access to Downtown, especially from the East Bay while a wave of new residential and commercial high-rises (over 20 at last count) will, in addition to permanently altering the city's skyline, dramatically increase the volume of people living, working and visiting the area.
This plan will be co-authored by The East Cut Community Benefit District (CBD). By collaborating with the CBD, the city will be in close contact with the neighborhood needs and desires from this planning effort. Consolidating our efforts will lead to quicker outcomes and a more cohesive strategy for the neighborhood.
Finalizing the Soda Plan
The Soda team hosted two large community open houses in May 2019. These open houses mark the final major outreach events of the Soda planning process. Moving forward, outreach efforts will shift from district-level planning to implement specific streetscape corridor projects within the South Downtown, such as the Minna-Natoma Art Corridor project discussed above.
The May 2019 open houses included content on a broad range of issues related to streets and open space that were generated through the planning process and will be included in final Soda Plan.
The open houses included content on:
- Streetscape Prioritization – revenue generated by property taxes and developments impact fees within the plan area to improve streets in the neighborhood.
- Walk, Bike and Transit Networks for the South Downtown, including new transit service in Rincon Hill and proposed protected bikeways (cycle tracks) on Beale and Howard Streets.
- Conceptual Streetscape Designs for future sidewalk widenings in the South Downtown; and
- Design concepts for a potential new public open space underneath the Bay Bridge at the foot of Spear Street.
- Click here to learn more about these and other Soda Plan outcomes presented at the May 2019 Open House!
|Spring 2017||Interagency Coordination; Background Research|
|Summer 2017||Develop communications plan|
|August 2, 2017||First Outreach Event: Kickoff and Project Overview|
|August - December 2017||Focused Outreach Events, Lunch-and-Learns|
|September 10, 2017||Walking Tour and Street Party|
|October 30, 2017||Community Workshop Number 2|
|May 5, 2018||Spear Street Cul-de-Sac Park Pop-up Party|
|Spring 2018||Soda Studio: Focused pop-up lunchtime outreach events for office workers|
|Spring 2018||Pop-up Planning Office at 160 Spear Street|
|Spring 2019||Focused Outreach Events to Property Owners, Tenants and Merchants along Corridors with Near-Term Streetscape Projects|
|May 16 & 18, 2019||Community Workshop Number 3|
|July 31, 2019||Minna/Natoma Art Corridor Stakeholder Workshop #1|
|June 23, 2020||Minna/Natoma Art Corridor Virtual Stakeholder Workshop #2|
|Winter 2020||Plan Approvals|
Minna/Natoma Art Corridor Virtual Stakeholder Workshop #2 – June 23, 2020
- View a video of the Presentation
- Introduction and Context (starts at the 10 second mark)
- Curatorial Vision (starts at roughly the 11 minute mark)
- Conceptual streetscape designs (starts at roughly the 25 minute mark)
- Discussion (starts at roughly the 42 minute mark)
- Presentation Slides
- Workshop Summary
Minna/Natoma Art Corridor Stakeholder Workshop #1 – July 31, 2019
Community Open House 3 – May 16 & 18, 2019
Pop-Up Party to Explore Potential Future Park in Spear Street Cul-de-Sac – May 5, 2018
- Park Design Concept 1: Frequencies (Paulina Buchik and Jolene Juseff)
- Park Design Concept 2: Portals and Pockets (Quinn Hammond, Lori Martinez, Tracy Nguyen)
- Park Design Concept 3: Windscape/Landscape (Younghun Song, Tina Wang, Willie Wu)
- Park Design Concept 4: East Cut Grid (Troy Hughes, Sharon Lam, Shunta Moriuchi)
- Photo Gallery
Community Open House 2 – October 30, 2017
Community Open House 1 – August 2, 2017